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(en) France, Organisation Communiste Libertarie (OCL) - The new PKK unleashed a social revolution in Kurdistan (fr, pt) [machine translation]

Date Wed, 03 Sep 2014 13:32:51 +0300


By way of introduction ---- The positions and policies of the party references Kurdish PKK national liberation open with Turkey war began to change in the late 1990s, when its leader Abdullah Öcalan, imprisoned for life in the post-Soviet context of collapse of "actually existing socialism", discovered the theoretical reflections of social ecology developed by the activist and intellectual anarchist-communist Murray Bookchin étatsunien. ---- The PKK has endorsed and adapted the ideas of the influential and controversial anarchist theorist, as well as other intellectuals and movements (such as the Zapatistas) and has integrated its own proposal, the Democratic confederalism. The latter began to be implemented in the organizational structures of the Kurdish liberation movement and the territories in which it has a presence, founding peoples of the Confederation of Kurdistan (KCK) and by boosting a new dynamic: a movement social transformation assembléiste and federalist, supporting the 'national question' and trying to be a political response backs to diagram of the nation-state and its impasses.
singular dynamics under the regional context in that it opposes frontally all the dominant trends in competition or conflict; defending secularism, equality, women's liberation and the struggle against patriarchy, experimenting economy (of war) to break with capitalism and productivism, reinventing and putting into practice a re-appropriation of politics by establishment of an embryo territorial political autonomy, the establishment of a power of local and municipal assemblies and exceeding separations and incarcerations identity by taking into account the existence of minorities and singularity and plurality of social issues... Vast site.

In recent months, the guerrillas - men and women - of the Turkish PKK moved first to Syria and then recently in Iraq to fight jihadist forces the Islamic State alongside their comrades in other branches of the national liberation movement and Social Kurdish. These fighter-es are now the only ones to stand up to the jihadists, Syria and Iraq, the only practical to encourage and help people to create their own self-defense units (especially right now the Yezidi refugees expelled from the region of Sinjar) and to push back the Islamists, to rout them, despite the imbalance, particularly on the material plane of military equipment.

We have largely addressed the issues at several levels of the "Kurdish revolution" underway on this site or Alternatieve Current and will continue to do so. Because today, the policy proposal of the Kurdish movement beyond the scope of single Kurdistan and its internal conflicts. It begins to appear - and this is seen in the context of the balance sheet, the failure of insiders in 2011-2012 called "Arab Spring" revolutionary process, and then questions started by this sequence and since remained unanswered - as a tangible proposal reopens a perspective as a valid response for the entire Mediterranean and Middle Eastern macro-region: an alternative to all systems of oppression, without exception, from the territorial divisions of the colonial era and of the 1st World War, both the rags of the "Arab nationalism" one-party and related military dictatorships, different variants of political Islam, the various oil monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf, the pseudo-democracies capitalist oligarchies / imperialist Western fashion.

Here we publish a translation of a recently published in English, which has, once again, the contents of the proposals and applied by the movements of the Left Kurdish and update text.

It goes without saying that, like other texts and documents that we publish regularly, it reflects only the views of its author. If we assume the publication is, firstly, because we find the issues and concerns that are close to us, but on the other hand, and especially by what he brings as elements of information, understanding and analysis of the conflicts, wars, social transformation process underway that we are no strangers and now greatly draw a map of the world (geographic, social, political...) that us, simply because it includes us and we will determine.

August 31, 2014 - XYZ / OCLibertaire

The new PKK unleashed a social revolution in Kurdistan

Rafael Taylor, August 17, 2014

[ROARmag - Reflections on a Revolution ].

As the prospect of Kurdish independence became more and more imminent, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has turned into a force fighting for radical democracy.

Excluded from the negotiations and betrayed by the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 by the Allies of World War I who promised their own state after the partition of the Ottoman Empire, the Kurds are the largest stateless minority in the world. But today, with the exception of a stubborn Iran, there remain some obstacles to Kurdish independence de jure in northern Iraq. Turkey and Israel have pledged their support, while the hands of Syria and Iraq are linked by the rapid progress of the Islamic State (formerly EIIL).

With the Kurdish flag flying on all official buildings and peshmerga [Armed Forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraqi Kurdistan. NdT] now the Islamists at the door of Kurdistan through an American military aid long-awaited Southern Kurdistan (Iraq) joined their comrades in the Western Kurdistan (Syria) as the second autonomous region de facto the new Kurdistan. They have already started exporting their own oil and resumed oil-rich region of Kirkuk, they have their own elected parliament, secular and pluralistic society. They made their application for recognition as a state at the UN and there is nothing that the Iraqi government can do that-or the United States want to do without the support of Israel - to stop it.

The Kurdish struggle, however, is far from being narrowly nationalistic. In the mountains above Arbil, in the historic heart of Kurdistan, which winds through the borders of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria, a social revolution was born.

Image: Current Map of Syria and Iraq. Yellow in northern Syria are controlled by the Kurds of Syria, in green in the northern Iraqi areas are controlled by the Iraqi Kurds (source: Wikimedia Commons) areas.

The theory of democratic confederalism

At the turn of the century, while the radical étatsunien Murray Bookchin had failed in his attempt to revitalize the contemporary anarchist movement with its philosophy of social ecology, Abdullah Öcalan, the founder and leader of the PKK, was arrested in Kenya by Turkish authorities and sentenced to death for treason. In the years that followed, the old anarchist gained an unlikely supporter in the hardened militant, whose paramilitary organization - the Kurdistan Workers' Party - is widely regarded as a terrorist organization to lead a violent national liberation war against Turkey.

In his years of solitary confinement - the PKK leader is behind bars since his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment - Öcalan has adopted a form of libertarian socialism so obscure that few anarchists had heard: the Libertarian Municipalism Bookchin. Ocalan was subsequently modified and renamed attenuated vision Bookchin as the "democratic confederalism" with the result that the Union of Kurdistan Communities (KCK Koma Civakên or Kurdistan), territorial experience PKK a free society based on direct democracy, has remained largely a secret to most anarchists, and more for the general public.

Although the conversion Öcalan was the turning point, the rebirth of a wider literature and independent libertarian left began to blow in the mountains and passed from hand to hand among the base of the movement after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. "(They) were analyzed books and articles philosophers, feminists, of (neo) anarchists, libertarian communists, communalists and social ecologists. Thus writers such as Murray Bookchin (and others) have their attention ", says the Kurdish militant Ercan Ayboga.

Öcalan was launched in his writings from prison into a deep review and criticism of the terrible violence, dogmatism, the personality cult and authoritarianism that had favored: "It became clear that our Theoretically, our program and praxis of the 1970s produced nothing but a vain separatism and violence, and, what is worse, that nationalism which we should oppose, has plagued us all. Even if we were opposed to his principles and his rhetoric, we have nevertheless accepted as inevitable". Once the undisputed leader, Ocalan said that the "dogmatism thrives on abstract truths that become common ways of thinking. Once you put these general truths into words, you feel like a high priest in the service of his god. This is the mistake I made."

Öcalan, atheist, has written of late as a free thinker, free from mythology Marxist-Leninist account. He said he was looking for an "alternative to capitalism" and a "replacement model of the ruined..." actually existing socialism '" when he met Bookchin. His theory of democratic confederalism developed from a combination of intellectual inspiration communalist of "movements like the Zapatistas" and other historical factors from the fight Northern Kurdistan (Turkey). Öcalan declared himself that he was a student of Bookchin, and after the failure of an electronic correspondence with old theorist, who was with great regret too ill to continue in 2004 an exchange of correspondence from his deathbed The PKK has honored him by declaring that he was "one of the greatest social scientists of the twentieth century" to mark the second anniversary of his death.

The practice of democratic confederalism

The PKK has apparently followed his leader, not only through the specific label Bookchin eco-anarchism, but also by actively internalizing this new philosophy in its strategy and tactics. The movement has abandoned its bloody war for the Stalinist / Maoist revolution and the methods of terror that accompanied it, and began to consider a largely non-violent strategy for greater regional autonomy.

After decades of fratricidal betrayal, to cease fire and missed no future, arbitrary detentions and times of hostilities on April 25 this year, the PKK announced an immediate withdrawal of its forces from Turkey and their redeployment in northern Iraq, ending a 30-year conflict with the Turkish state. The Turkish government has undertaken simultaneously in a process of constitutional and legal reform to devote human and cultural rights of the Kurdish minority within its borders. This is the latest in a long-awaited between Öcalan and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan negotiation as part of a peace process that began in 2012 There was no violence by the PKK for a year and reasonable have been calls for the PKK to be removed from the global list of terrorist organizations.

It remains, however, a dark story attached to PKK authoritarian practices that do not fit with his new libertarian rhetoric. At various times, its branches have been accused or suspected of raising funds for heroin trafficking, extortion, forced recruitment and extortion large scale. If this is true, there is no excuse for this kind of opportunism mafia, despite the obvious irony that genocidal Turkish state itself was largely financed by the lucrative monopoly on legal export to West of opiates "medical" cultivated by the state, and made possible by compulsory military service and taxes for a huge anti-terror budget and armed forces oversized (Turkey has the second largest army in NATO after United States).

This is the usual hypocrisy in the war against terrorism: when national liberation movements mimic the brutality of the state, it is invariably not shown designated as terrorists. Öcalan himself described this shameful period as one of "gangs within our organization and openly practice banditry, [which] organized acts dangerous, useless, sending mass of young people to death".

Anarchist currents in the fight

As a further sign that he abandoned his Marxist-Leninist orientation, the PKK began making explicit overtures to the international anarchism, even hosting a workshop at the Anarchist International Meeting of Saint-Imier, Switzerland in 2012, which caused confusion, disarray and online discussions, but went largely unnoticed in the anarchist press in general.

Janet Biehl, widow of Bookchin, is one of the few Western anarchists who studied KCK in the field and has written about his experiences on the website New Compass also sharing talks with Kurdish radicals involved in day to day operations of democratic assemblies and federal structures, as well as the English translation and publication of the first anarchist major study in the form of a book on the topic: Democratic autonomy in Northern Kurdistan: Movement Councils Liberation Gender and Ecology (2013) [ Democratic Autonomy in North Kurdistan: The Council Movement, Gender Liberation, and Ecology].

The only other English anarchist voice is the Kurdistan Anarchist Forum (KAF), a pacifist group of Iraqi Kurds living in Europe who claim not to have "links with other leftist groups". While supporting a federal Kurdistan, the KAF said he "will not support the PKK when it has completely abandoned the armed struggle, participate in the organization of popular movements as a basis for meeting the social needs of the population, denounce and dismantle its methods of struggle centralized and hierarchical and rather become a federation of autonomous local groups, cut all ties and relations with states in the Middle East and the West, denounced the policy of charismatic power, and will be converted to the anti-statism and anti-authoritarianism, only then we will be happy to cooperate fully with them."

In the following text in Bookchin

That day (except pacifism) may not be far off. The PKK / KCK seems to follow the social ecology of Bookchin to the letter, with almost everything, up to and including his contradictory participation in the state apparatus by the elections, as was prescribed in his American anarchist writings.

As written by Joost Jongerden and Ahmed Akkaya, "Bookchin's work distinguishes between two conceptions of politics, the Greek and the Roman model model", that is to say, direct democracy and representative democracy. Bookchin sees his form of neo-anarchism as a practical revival of the ancient Athenian revolution. "model of Athens are as against the current, and an underground stream, finding expression in the Paris Commune of 1871, boards ( soviets) in the debut of the 1917 revolution in Russia and the Spanish revolution of 1936."

Communalism Bookchin contains a five-step approach:

Empower existing municipalities through the law to locate the decision-making power.
Democratize these municipalities through base assemblies.
Uniting municipalities "in regional networks and wider confederations [...] work gradually replace nation-states by municipal confederations" while ensuring that "the highest levels of the confederation are mainly functions of coordination and administration".
"Joining progressive social movements" to strengthen civil society and establish "a common focal point for initiatives and movements of all citizens": the assemblies. This cooperation is not designed "because we would expect to always find a harmonious consensus but rather because we believe in disagreement and deliberation. A company develops the debates and conflicts". In addition, the meetings must be secular struggle "against religious influences on politics and government" and must become "an arena of class struggle."
To realize his vision of a "classless society based on collective political control of socially important means of production", it is called the "municipalization of the economy" and the establishment of a " confederal allocation of resources to ensure regional balance ". In simple terms, this is equivalent to a combination of self-management and participatory planning to meet social needs: a classic anarchist economy.

As said Eirik Eiglad, former editor and analyst Bookchin KCK:

Of particular importance is the need to combine the ideas of feminist and progressive environmentalists with new urban movements and citizen initiatives, as well as trade unions, cooperatives and local community...
We believe communalist ideas of one based on assemblies democracy can help to bring this progressive exchange of ideas on a more permanent basis, and with more direct political consequences. Yet communalism is not only a tactical means to unite these radical movements. Our call for municipal democracy is an attempt to bring reason and ethics to the outpost public debates.

For Ocalan, democratic confederalism means a "democratic society, ecological and gender liberated", or simply "democracy without the state". He explicitly opposes the "capitalist modernity" and "modern democracy", in which "the three former basics: capitalism, the nation-state and industrialism" are replaced by "a democratic nation, and communal economy. ecological industry " This means "three projects: one for the democratic republic, one for the Democratic confederalism and for democratic self-government";

The concept of "democratic republic" refers primarily to the procurement, long denied, citizenship and civil rights of the Kurds, including the ability to speak and teach their language freely. Democratic autonomy and democratic confederalism make reference to both "autonomous capacities of people and a more direct form of political structure, less representative".

Meanwhile, Jongerden Akkaya and stressed that "the free model Municipalism aims to achieve bottom-up approach (" bottom-up ") in the design and operation of a participatory administrative body, from local to provincial". The "concept of free citizens ( ozgur yarttas ) [is] a starting point " which "includes basic civil liberties such as freedom of expression and organization". The basic units of the model are the neighborhood assemblies or "advice" as they are called either.

There popular participation in the councils, including from non-Kurdish people, and while the neighborhood assemblies are strong in several provinces, "in Diyarbakir, the largest city in Turkish Kurdistan, there are meetings almost everywhere. " Moreover, "in the provinces of Hakkari and Sirnak... there are two parallel authorities [KCK and State], including democratic confederal structure is the most powerful in practice. " The KCK in Turkey "is organized at the village level (köy), urban area (mahalle), district (Ilce), city (Kent), and region (Bölge), which is called "Kurdistan North."

The "higher" the federation in northern Kurdistan level, the DTK (Democratic Society Congress) is a mixture of shop stewards elected by their peers with revocable mandates, which constitute 60% of all representatives and to "more than five hundred organizations of civil society, trade unions and political parties" that make up the remaining 40%, of which about 6% are "reserved for representatives of religious minorities, academics and other professionals and others with a particular point of view."

The proportion within 40% of those who are similarly delegated directly Groups democratic civil society and non-statist compared to those who were not elected or are appointed by the bureaucracies of political parties is unclear. The overlap of individuals between independent Kurdish movements and Kurdish political parties as well as the internalization of many aspects of the process of direct democracy by these parties, further complicate the situation. However, the informal emerging consensus among observers is that the majority of decision-making procedures is direct democracy in one way or another; that most of these decisions are made at the local level; and that decisions are taken from the base, according to the federal structure.

Because the assemblies and the DTK is coordinated by illegal KCK, which includes the PKK, they are designated as "terrorists" by Turkey and the so-called international community (EU, USA and others). The DTK also selects candidates of the BDP, the pro-Kurdish party (Party for Peace and Democracy) to the Turkish Parliament, which offers "democratic autonomy" for Turkey, a combination of representative democracy and democracy Direct. In accordance with the federal model, it proposes the creation of about 20 regions autogouverneraient directly (as the anarchist scheme, not Switzerland) "education, health, culture, agriculture, industry, social services and security, women's issues, Youth and Sports", with the state continuing to conduct "foreign affairs, finance and defense."

The social revolution is taking off

Meanwhile, on the ground, the revolution has already begun. In Turkish Kurdistan, there is an independent educational movement "academies" that organizes forums and seminars in neighborhoods. In the municipality of Safe Amed [Kurdish name Diyarbak?r NdT], where a street is called "Street Culture", the mayor Abdullah Demirbas welcomes the "diversity of religions and belief systems" and declares that "We started to restore a mosque, a Catholic church Chaldeo- araméenne-, an Armenian Orthodox church and a Jewish synagogue".
Jongerden and Akkaya reported elsewhere that "the DTP municipalities have launched a" multilingual municipal services, "which sparked heated debate. Panels municipal indicators were erected in Kurdish and Turkish, and local businesses have followed suit".

Women's liberation is followed by the women themselves through the initiatives of the Council of Women of DTK, which establishes new rules "quotas for women forty percent" in the assemblies. If an official beats his wife, his salary is transferred directly to the battered woman to maintain their financial security and its use as it sees fit. "In Gewer if the husband takes a second wife, half his estate will go to first. "

There are "Peace Villages" community cooperatives, new or rebuilt, applying their own program completely outside the logistical constraints of the Kurdish-Turkish war. The first of these communities has been built in the province of Hakkari, bordering Iraq and Iran, where "several villages" have joined the experiment. In the province of Van, "an ecological village women" is being built to house the victims of domestic violence, self-sufficient "for all or almost all the electricity needed."

KCK holds meetings twice a year in the mountains with hundreds of delegates from each of the four countries, with priority on its agenda, the threat of the Islamic State to the autonomy of Kurdistan southern and western. Iranian and Syrian parties affiliated to the KCK, the PJAK (Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan) and PYD (Democratic Union Party) also highlight the democratic confederalism. The Iraqi party of the KCK, the PCDK (Party for a democratic solution of Kurdistan) is relatively small because the (centrist KDP) Kurdistan Democratic Party in power and its leader Massoud Barzani, president of Iraqi Kurdistan, has only recently stopped harassing him and began to tolerate.

But in the mountainous regions of Iraqi Kurdistan to the north, to where most of the guerrillas and guerrilla PKK and PJAK, radical literature and assemblies flourish, with the integration of many Kurds from the mountains after decades of travel. In recent weeks, these activists have descended from the northern mountains to fight alongside the peshmerga against the Iraqi EIIL, saving 20,000 Yezidis and Christians in the mountains of Sinjar and were visited Barzani in a public display gratitude and solidarity, but especially to Turkey and the United States in a quandary.

Syrian PYD followed the example of Turkish Kurdistan in the revolutionary transformation of the autonomous region under its control since the outbreak of the civil war. After the "mass arrests" of Baathist repression, with "10,000 prisoners, including Mayors, local party leaders, elected officials, executives and activists [...] PYD Kurdish forces overthrew the regime of the party Baas in northern Syria, or Western Kurdistan, [and] local councils have hatched everywhere. " The Self-Defense Committees were improvised to provide "security after the fall of the Baathist regime" and "the first school teacher Kurdish" was established at the same time that the advice intervened in the equitable distribution of the bread and gasoline.

In Kurdistan of Turkey, Syria, and to a lesser extent in Iraqi Kurdistan, women are now free to expose and strongly encouraged to participate in social life. The old feudal ties are broken, people are free to follow any religion or none, and ethnic and religious minorities coexist peacefully. If they are able to contain the new caliphate, the autonomy of PYD in Syrian Kurdistan and the influence of KCK in Iraqi Kurdistan could serve as a catalyst for a deeper explosion of culture and revolutionary values.

June 30, 2012, the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change (NCB), the largest coalition of the revolutionary left in Syria, whose PYD is the main group, adopted "the draft democratic self and democratic confederalism as a possible model for Syria ".

Defend the Kurdish revolution against the Islamic state

Turkey, meanwhile, has threatened to invade the Kurdish regions if "terrorist bases were located in Syria", when hundreds of fighters KCK (including PKK) across the Kurdistan crossing the border defend Rojava (west) face of the advance of the Islamic State. The PYD says the moderate Islamist government of Turkey is already engaged in a proxy war against them, facilitating the transit of international jihadists across the border to help fight alongside the Islamists.

In Iraqi Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, whose guerrillas fought with Turkey against the PKK in the 1990s in exchange for access to Western markets, called for a "Kurdish united front" in Syria through an alliance with PYD. Barzani had signed in 2012 with Salih Muslim, leader of PYD, the "Erbil Agreement" form the Kurdish National Council and recognizing that "all parties are serious and determined to continue to work together".

Yet as the study and practice of libertarian socialist ideas among management and the basics of KCK is certainly a positive development, it remains to be seen how far this influence is serious enough to abandon their bloody authoritarian past. The Kurdish struggle for self-determination and cultural sovereignty is a glimmer of hope amid the dark clouds are gathering over the Islamic state and inter-fascist bloody wars between Islamism and Baathism religious sectarianism that gave them birth.

A socially progressive and secular pan-Kurdish revolution, with libertarian socialist elements, unifying the Iraqi and Syrian Kurds and conditioner struggles in Turkey and Iran can still be a prospect. Meanwhile, those of us who like the idea of civilization must acknowledge their gratitude to the Kurds, who are fighting on the front lines day and night against jihadist Islamist fascism in Syria and Iraq, defending the values of their lives of radical democracy.

"Kurds have no friends but the mountains"
- Kurdish Proverb
__

Rafael Taylor is a libertarian socialist activist and freelance journalist living in Melbourne. He is also host of the radio show "Floodgates of Anarchy," a member of the ASF-IWA (AIT) and coordinator of the Alliance of the Libertarian Left in Melbourne.

Source: http: //roarmag.org/2014/08/pkk-Kurd...

Translation: XYZ / OCLibertaire

----------------------------

To go further...

Links: http://oclibertaire.free.fr/spip.php?article1574

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Kurds: "The greatest people in the world without a state"

The Kurdish question and anarchism
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